June 12th, 2024

Plastics plant owner asks for time to comply with federal orders to end benzene leaks

By The Canadian Press on June 2, 2024.

The owners of an Ontario plastics plant that's been emitting dangerous levels of the cancer-causing chemical benzene say they need more time to comply with federal rules. A petrochemical plant is seen in Sarnia, Ont., Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

OTTAWA – The owners of an Ontario plastics plant that’s been emitting dangerous levels of the cancer-causing chemical benzene say they need more time to comply with federal rules.

In mid-May, Environment Canada set out tougher air quality standards in the Sarnia, Ont., area in a move targeted at Ineos Styrolution.

Now, the company says there are potential safety risks with bringing the facility into compliance.

It issued a statement saying emptying all benzene from its tanks will require meticulous planning and could result in more emissions.

It also says it’s agreed to delay the work until after a community event at the nearby Aamjiwnaang First Nation on June 22 and 23.

The Ineos plant was shut down on April 20 after air monitors picked up a massive spike in local benzene levels.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2024.

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